Montessori education in Australia has gained remarkable recognition and popularity for its unique approach to fostering holistic child development. With a strong emphasis on self-directed learning and individualised instruction, Montessori schools across the country provide children with an environment that promotes independence, critical thinking, and a deep sense of responsibility.

Australian Montessori programs are known for their commitment to nurturing not only academic excellence but also the social and emotional well-being of students. With a growing number of Montessori schools and educators dedicated to the Montessori ethos, families in Australia have the opportunity to choose an educational path that truly values each child’s unique journey, making Montessori an increasingly attractive option in the Australian educational landscape.

As the largest Montessori school in Australia, Montessori International College prides itself on furthering the principles and pedagogy pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Is Montessori good for gifted children?

From a Montessori perspective every child is a unique individual with his or her own gifts and challenges. All children develop at different rates, so placing them in single-age classrooms and expecting them to be ready for the same concepts simply because they are the same age overemphasises and pathologies natural differences. This unnatural learning environment leads to the common tendency to label children as either “gifted” or “learning challenged.”

In a Montessori multiage classroom children are allowed their natural variations within the three or four year age grouping. A lesson on subtraction, for example, might be attended by children of different ages who are nevertheless ready for the same concepts. An advantage of the Montessori approach is that each child can make the most of their unique attributes. Multi-age classrooms with students of varying abilities and interests allow each child to work at his or her own pace.

Montessori students learn to recognise that everyone has their own gifts and their own challenges; that someone who is “gifted” in math may not necessarily be as advanced in other areas. Students whose strengths and interests propel them to higher levels of learning can find intellectual challenge without being separated from their peers. The same is true for students who may need extra guidance and support: each can progress through the curriculum at his own comfortable pace, without feeling pressure to catch up.

In traditional primary schools, homework is generally needed to gauge whether a child has understood a particular lesson. This is necessary when a teacher gives a lesson to twenty or thirty students at a time from the front of the room and so is unable to assess each individual’s level of understanding or attention.

In contrast, our guides work with children individually or in small groups using Montessori materials that are designed to be self-correcting. Moreover each child is in their Montessori classroom for three (sometimes four) years, so Montessori guides know their students much better than teachers in traditional classrooms. These factors combine to allow Montessori teachers to intimately grasp each child’s individual understanding and to know what is needed to motivate them. Traditional homework and standardised tests are blunt instruments which are generally unnecessary in the Montessori system.

Home work, in the Montessori sense, is work that the child does at home as an extension of his or her own interests. Learning experiences at home should emerge from the interests and abilities of each child and the family. Activities may be offered but should ideally be chosen by the child and tailored to suit their interests and needs. They may need the assistance of a parent or sibling at first. This kind of homework can be organised into three categories: experiences (e.g. reading, visiting a museum or going to see a play); skills (e.g. riding a bicycle, cooking, playing an instrument or sewing); and products to be shared (e.g. a letter or story, art work, or plants grown in the garden).

Children might reinforce academic skills at home by reading to a younger sibling, keeping a journal, writing postcards or emails to friends or relatives, and using a monthly allowance to buy things for themselves when accompanying parents on shopping trips. But they can also develop literacy and math skills by reading comics or children’s magazines, playing board games like Monopoly, working on crosswords and hidden search puzzles, collecting coins, learning carpentry, keeping a scrapbook of newspaper articles on an issue that interests them, writing letters to public servants requesting improvements to playground facilities or earning money for walking neighbours’ dogs. Just as in the classroom, activities that capture a child’s interest are more likely to inspire them to persist. Daydreaming and nature play are worthwhile activities too!

Preparing the child’s home environment can remove frustrations that may overwhelm their organisational skills. Once an activity is chosen, ensure that all the materials they need are organised for easy access and that they know how to clean up when they’re finished.

Even in secondary school, homework is only assigned when it’s a practical, purposeful and productive addition to what was learnt in classes during the day. It is never assigned without a specific goal in mind.

Authentic Montessori environments have children grouped into three to four year age spans based on Dr. Montessori’s research on the stages of child development. MIC has multiage classrooms with children aged from three to six years, six to nine years, nine to twelve years, twelve to fifteen years, and fifteen to eighteen years. In the Early Years, 5-year-old students spend part of their day in a ”Prep” homeroom where they focus on Prep-level academic work, with the balance of the day spent working with other children in leadership and mentoring roles.

This three-year multiage grouping is the core feature that energizes or makes possible the other important features of Montessori classrooms: choice of activity, personal connection, and collaborative learning. The multiage structure allows older children to validate their learning by becoming the ‘experts’ in the room. Peer teaching can occur with the older children sharing their knowledge and skills and taking on the role of the caretakers of the classroom. It is these older children that provide the role model for younger children. The youngest three-year-olds have a group of willing people ready to help them when help is required. Younger children receive preliminary introductions to future lessons as they watch older children work nearby with the next steps in the progression of materials.

“The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages because it has great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves. You cannot imagine how well a young child learns from an older child; how patient the older child is with the difficulties of the younger.” (Maria Montessori, The Child, Society and the World).


There are many aspects to the Montessori difference. Fundamentally, the goal of Montessori is to nurture independent, joyful learners by educating the whole child, while the core aim of traditional education is the transfer of curriculum content. For more detail on the differences please see our section Montessori Education vs Traditional Education.

The Montessori Method suits all children but it doesn’t suit all parents. Montessori classrooms have stronger and more lasting effects when their principles are mirrored in the home. There are some wonderful online resources which explain the proven benefits of Montessori. A good place to start is the Montessori Australia website.